Rational Choice Deterrence Theory

timer Asked: Mar 2nd, 2014

Question description

I can certainly agree with much of the rational choice deterrence theory.  But there are some crimes that just don’t seem to fit.  Would the death penalty stop a suicide bomber?  Can any form of deterrence stop them?  Is there any credible evidence that the death penalty deters murder?  I have never seen it. 

Let’s consider:

1) Can the rational choice deterrence theory explain the serial killer, or the Newtown shooter or the Boston Marathon bombers? Would any amount of deterrence have stopped them? 

2) How does the rational choice deterrence theory deal with the irrational or mentally unbalanced criminal?

3)  Can violent crime be explained by rational choice deterrence theory?  Rape is a crime about power and control. How does rational choice deterrence theory explain the rapist?  Or the pedophile?  What about some murders, which are the ultimate form of control? 

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